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New year, new you, old home. Give your home the love it deserves this year by making a new year’s resolution to take better care of it. Start by completing these routine maintenance tasks that are routinely overlooked!
#1 – Vacuum your dryer vent
More than 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported every year, and most of these fires happen in the winter months. The most common cause of a dryer fire is a dirty dryer, so make it a priority this year to clean your dryer vent. And we’re not talking about your trap – the small area you pull out and clean after every cycle.
We’re talking about the vent, which comes out the back of your dryer and needs to be vacuumed. We have a step-by-step guide to completing this in the vipHomeLink app, so download the app now!
(If you’d rather have a professional take care of this task, we agree! It’s always better to be safe than sorry, but you should still download the app. It’ll prompt you when it’s time to complete this task on your house maintenance checklist again!)
#2 – Dust your refrigerator coils
A lot of homeowners ask, “Does a refrigerator require maintenance?” That’s a resounding yes!
Dusty and dirty coils retain heat rather allowing it to efficiently release. This causes the compressor to work overtime and can shorten the lifespan of your unit. It can also increase the temperature of your refrigerator (which is not good for your Greek yogurt).
Every six months to a year, pull out your refrigerator (be careful!) and find your condenser coils in the back of the unit. Using a coil brush, remove the dust, and then vacuum the area.
(You’ll also want to check the door seals, as those can also create problems with your refrigerator, but most of the time, homeowners notice that issue right away.)
#3 – Check the caulking around your shower and bathtub
Water damage can easily lead to mold and costly repairs. Prevent water damage from happening in one of the areas most prone to it by checking the caulking around your shower and bathtub. Replace as needed. This will keep your water in the areas where it should be (and away from the areas it shouldn’t).
#4 – Test the balance of your garage door opener
Garages are a car’s best friend, but they also pose a danger to a homeowner. If the door isn’t properly balanced, it can raise or fall unexpectedly, causing injuries.
Check your garage door twice a year simply by closing the door and pulling the open release handle. This will allow you to manually lift the door halfway. Then, release the door.
If the door rises or falls, call a professional to fix the tension. If it stays put, repeat in six months.
#5 – Check your sump pump
Your sump pump is your home’s lifesaver. It funnels water away from your foundation. If for some reason water gets inside your basement, it pumps it out. Ideally, you should look to inspect and clean your sump pumps once a year, so if you haven’t in quite some time, you should do so now.
#6 – Finish (or update) your home inventory
You probably started one of these when you moved into your home, but if you never finished it –there’s no time like the present! Here, we give you a step-by-step guide to completing your home inventory, and you can upload it directly to vipHomeLink for safekeeping!
#7 – Check your water quality
Do you know what’s flowing through your pipes? A simple home test can give you an idea, but if you have well water, you should get a professional to do the testing. They’ll be able to definitively tell you if your water has bacteria, lead, copper, radon, pesticides, and more. Check out our interview with a water specialist to find out what you need to know about obtaining safe drinking water.
#8 – Flush your hot water heater
Do hot water heaters need to be flushed? Yes! Sediment buildup collects on the bottom of the tank and can cause your hot water heater to lose efficiency or even malfunction. (Ice cold showers, anyone?) Follow the steps in our in-app vipTIPS to flush your water heater tank or call a licensed plumber to complete this necessary annual task on your house maintenance checklist.
#9 – Keep your washing machine springtime fresh
Mold is present in every home, but one place you definitely do not want it is your laundry room. If your washing machine has less-than-pleasant springtime scent, here’s how to keep your washer smelling fresh:
First, try using ¼ cup of baking soda in a wash cycle (without clothes) and let it run. If it’s still not sparkling clean, then add two cups of white vinegar to ¼ cup of baking soda for a second cycle. That should help to freshen the unit up a bit.
#10 – Celebrate your accomplishments
How do homeowners keep track of their house maintenance checklist? Simple answer: Most don’t. In fact, 35 million Americans admit to forgetting tasks they need to keep their home functioning, and almost half of all homeowners say their house needs more TLC.
(Not completing maintenance can lead to house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other dangerous situations. Plus, they can lead to more insurance claims, which still cost you money.)
That’s why it’s important to enjoy that feeling of accomplishment when you maintain or improve your home, and stay on top of home maintenance.
Stay on top of your house maintenance checklist
Enjoy those feelings more frequently with the help of vipHomeLink. Our home management app helps you learn how to maintain a home by putting expert-backed tips in the palm of your hand. We also provide personalized recommendations for home maintenance and tailored recommendations for home improvement. Plus – our new weather alerts help ready your home for the next severe weather event.
Know what to do and when to do it with the help of vipHomeLink. Subscribe today with a monthly or annual membership.